Monday Morning Insights

Photo of Todd

    What Would Happen If Every Church’s Focus was to Make Disciples?

    What Would Happen If Every Church’s Focus was to Make Disciples?

    Rob Ross contemplates on this question:  What would happen if the Church's singular focus was to make disciples?  His answer:  We would see a movement of God like we have not seen in generations.

    So... what is holding us back?  Rob sees four walls that are keeping the church from really being serious about disciple-making.  Here they are:

    The Wall of Comfort

    I would define comfort as a state of being in which we feel secure. It is a feeling that everything is okay at least where I live. If we become too comfortable we no longer sense the urgency. In scripture Jesus warned his disciples that the time was near. He took down their wall of comfort so they could see what was coming and helped them prepare. What questions should we be asking Jesus? How do we move outside our comfort zone? Matthew 24:32-35

    The Wall of Distractions

    North American society provides an abundance of distractions. Add to our busy lives the need to adapt to a rapidly changing world and we see our attention becoming extremely divided. We are inundated with many forms of entertainment. We have numerous opportunities to listen to the radio, watch television or surf the Internet. Technology continues to take ever larger amounts of our time. Beyond this we still need to earn a living, pay our bills, raise our families and keep our relationships healthy. In order to sort out all these distractions it becomes imperative to ask some more questions. What are my priorities? How do I redeem my time? Ephesians 5:15-17

    The Wall of Individualism

    When I refer to individualism I mean the pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interests. This seems to be a common theme in Western society. It appears we are losing sight of what it means to be community. Our focus is diverted by the idea of personal success rather than corporate well being. The wall of individualism blinds us from the needs of all God’s people and from fully accomplishing God’s purpose. I continually ask myself, “What was Jesus’ original purpose for His people?”  How do we live as Jesus intended? Acts 2:42-47

    The Wall of Disobedience

    Disobedience is any choice that is contrary to what God has instructed. It is saying no to God. This is not as obvious as it might seem. I often find believers questioning the relevance of scripture for today’s world. There is a sense that it was meant for those who lived two thousand years ago but it isn’t relevant today. It seems they want to make God’s word fit into their lifestyle. They do not see this as disobedience. What does it take to obey God? Titus 3: 1-9

    Read more of Rob's thoughts here at THE WELL.

    How is YOUR church doing at disciple-making? 

    Our church is doing horrribly in this area.  And we know it.  That's why we're taking some pretty drastic measures to make sure that we start getting it right.  And much of it includes the first two walls initially... getting out of our comfortable chair; and removing all the distractions (including the 'good' things) that we're doing that are keeping us from the 'great' things.

    It's a painful process.  It involves change.  It involves sacrifice.  And it will make many people uncomfortable.  But it will be worth it.


    How is YOUR church best making disciples these days?



    if you want a Globally Recognized Avatar (the images next to your profile) get them here. Once you sign up, your picture will displayed on any website that supports gravitars.

    1. CS on Thu, April 01, 2010

      I think one of the biggest impediments to making disciples is that most churches don’t even know what a, “disciple,” is.  I recall reading the other day someone’s definition of discipleship.  Essentially, it said, “Discipleship is having disciples making more disciples who make more disciples,” but it never went into what a disciple is in the first place.


    2. Fred on Thu, April 01, 2010

      It depends on how much they get $$$PAID$$$ per disciple.

    3. Byron on Sat, April 03, 2010

      I agree with CS that most churches do not have a clear picture of what a disciple is.  Also, we are unwilling or unable, because of not knowing our target, to measure the results.  We don’t ask the questions, how are we doing in making disciples? what adjustments can we make to be more fruitful?  Reproduction (2 Tim 2:2) is certainly an essential element of making disciples, for the benefit of the disciple, for the church, and for making progress in fulfilling the Great Commission.  Two additional characteristics of healthy disciple-making are growing in intimacy with God (Jn 17:3) and growing in obedience to God’s Word, all in the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

    4. Andy McAdams on Sat, April 03, 2010

      Thanks Todd for posting this.  It speaks my language.  If you don’t mind I’m going to post it on my ministries blog also.

      I am happy to say that my church does well in disciple making.  In fact we believe that discipleship is the DNA of the church and it is best done One to One and in small groups and our major focus.

      The fact is, as important as preaching is, it simply falls short in the process of making disciples when not balanced with one to one and small groups.  Matthew 28:19-20 says that part of disciple making is “teaching to obey”.  In order to do that accountability is needed.  The combination of pulpit teaching, small groups and One to One allows the necessary accountability in disciple making.

      I have the pleasure of working with a number of churches across the U.S. and discipleship is the main focus that I point them. 

      I agree with Byron that reproduction is the essential element of making disciples.  Too many churches might have a “discipleship program” and believe it or not… THAT’S THE PROBLEM.  Discipleship can’t be just another program in the church…it has to be a process where a disciple reproduces in someone that in turn reproduces in another.  The result is personal growth, life transformation, church growth, leadership development and an all around dynamic healthy church.

    5. Fred on Sun, April 04, 2010

      Make sure it doesn’t turn into this:

    6. Tim Wright on Mon, April 05, 2010

      You forgot about the wall of MONEY.  Churches need money and grace doesn’t manipulate people to give.


    7. joe on Mon, April 05, 2010

      I read somewhere: Evangelism without discipleship is not evangelism and discipleship without evangelism is not discipleship.

      I have added to this: Evangelism without discipleship not biblical evangelism and discipleship that does not produce disciples who share their faith is not biblical discipleship.

      Which is more important: evangelism or discipleship? Trick question. That’s like asking which is more important: prayer or Bible study?

      Both are important!

    8. Andymcadams on Mon, April 05, 2010

      AMEN TO JOE!

    9. Byron on Mon, April 05, 2010

      You might also put it this way:  1) Discipleship without evangelism is impotent—it does not help the disciple take the important step of faith of sharing with someone else what the Lord is doing in His life AND it misses the opportunity of spiritual multiplication. 2) Evangelism without discipleship is irresponsible—it is like fathering many babies without caring for them.  A pastor in Uganda told me, “If we had 100 babies born in our village in one year but only 5 survived, we would all be weeping and wailing!  However, if we hold an evangelistic crusade where 100 profess faith in Jesus but only 5 become enfolded into the church, it doesn’t bother us, in fact, we might do the same thing again!  Yes, Jesus described evangelism as an integral element of discipleship, not a separate activity!

    10. Pastor Tom on Mon, April 05, 2010

      Byron is absolutely correct.

      At our Church, we have an unfair advantage. We are small.

      Because of this, anyone that comes to us as a result of our outreach can be, and mostly are, immediately brought into the inner circle of Bible study and One on One discipleship. (If they want to stand back for a while, we don’t go on a feeding frenzy). But this is what Christ say’s to do.

      After the gulf coast hurricane trials for the churches there, one thing jumped right out, and into our mind. It was the image of one of the churches there that had it’s walls blown out. That next Sunday there were so many from the neighborhood, there was no room for them inside. However, no matter to them, there were no walls to keep them out ether, so they all were able to worship, where they were, inside or out.

      Our church has taken it to heart. We know that short of a hurricane in the Central Valley of California, we will not touch the street like that. So, instead of kicking out our walls, we take the church out to the street. Once a month or so, depending on the amount of prayer, we take it to the street, and have church in different parts of our town, just like a block party for Christ, (Without the beer).

      We get everyone involved, from our children and youth, to our adults and elderly. And do you know what? It works. When we pair up those who show an interest, with a member of their own age, It makes disciples.

      Get out and do as Jesus did.

    11. Byron on Mon, April 05, 2010

      Pastor Tom, Thanks for your inside out steps of faith!

    12. Page 1 of 1 pages

      Post a Comment

    13. (will not be published)

      Remember my personal information

      Notify me of follow-up comments?